Harley Quinn (Season Finale): The Final Joke Review
On the season finale of Harley Quinn, The Finale Joke, Harley’s (voiced by Kaley Cucuo) looking to get the last laugh on Joker (voiced by Alan Tudyk) after he kills Ivy (voiced by Lake Bell).
After quickly recapping Ivy’s death by harpoon at the end of the last episode, we’re left a little broken as the group mourns her death with a very emotional goodbye. Harley breaks down in tears, Kite-Man (voiced by Matt Oberg) breaks all of our hearts by saying goodbye to his “fiancé,” and Clayface (also voiced by Tudyk) breaks the silence to give a solid eulogy that lovingly reference Star Trek – even Dr. Psycho (voiced by Tony Hale) is impressed. Frank (voiced by J.B. Smoove) even comes by to let out his feels and hilariously say that he doesn’t trust anyone else to water him and complain that Ivy’s headstone doesn’t reference that she was a doctor. After Sy (voiced by Jason Alexander) and Psycho use their abilities to bury her, their grim reality sets in – Ivy’s gone and they’re going to need some help in taking down the Joker.
With the rest of the Justice League still stuck in Fable’s book, the only person Harley and her crew can turn to is Batman (voiced by Diedrich Bader) – who’s currently dealing with Gordon (voiced by Christopher Meloni). Reluctantly, the Dark Knight decides to team up with Harley to take out the Joker and they formulate a plan that puts Clayface in the spotlight. Knowing that Joker just can’t resist another encounter with the caped crusader, especially on his birthday, Harley has Clayface pose as a Batman replica while the real Batman flies in for a sneak attack. Because it’s his birthday, he asks Harley to sing Happy Birthday to him and she obliges him. However, Clayface just can’t resist joining in and the image of Batman being unable to resist singing is pure gold. Clayface eventually gets too theatrical and Joker eventually becomes wise to their tricks and gets the upper hand. After taking out Batman with some gas, Joker kidnaps the rest of Harley’s crew and makes her public enemy number one by putting a bounty on her head.
With no one in his way, including the rest of the Justice League I guess, Joker creates absolute chaos in Gotham that’s actually kind of interesting to see. With Batman being stuck as a cuckoo bird in one of Joker’s contraptions, Joker smiles painted all over Gotham, and there’s even a laugh police that’s taking police brutality to a whole new level with people that don’t find the Joker’s jokes funny, Gotham is in total disarray. Things aren’t much better for Harley’s crew as Joker is doing some devilish dentistry on King Shark (voiced by Ron Funches), Sy is being thrown down an endless set of stairs, and Clayface is being molded into ugly vases. Although, it is pretty funny to see Joker torture Psycho with videos of feminism. Harley’s still on the run though, and after seeing Kite-Man and Frank living next to Ivy’s grave, she cries a tear that turns the black roses she brings red and decides that it’s time to take the Joker head on and finish things once and for all.
While Harley’s been dealing with her feelings on the whole situation, Joker’s been relaxing with his new power, but is kind of unsatisfied. Scarecrow (voiced by Rahul Kohil), who’s still alive, thinks that he knows what will make him happy and decides to unmask Batman to reveal that he is Bruce Wayne. It’s actually a very cool moment because of how it actually disappoints Joker as it kind of ruins the mystery of knowing. It says a lot about Joker and his love for chaos and for ruining the mystery, Joker decides to kill Scarecrow for good. However, when Harley arrives at his front door, the two of them decide to make a deal – take Harley and let the rest of her crew go.
Obliging to her wishes, especially when she has a bomb vest on, Harley is now the Joker’s captor and her crew is set free – which regains their trust in Harley. Making Harley wear her original jester costume again, it really feels like things have come full circle – especially the Joker. At first, the Joker seems like he sees Harley in a new light as he says that he can’t imagine life without his partner and chaos. However, Harley’s not buying it and with the knife behind her back she stabs Joker in the gut at the same time he stabs her. It was a little hard to believe that Joker was serious because, well, he’s the Joker, but the strong writing and Tudyk’s performance did make you question and it’s a true testament to how this show really understands DC characters. The two get into a bloody knife fight that ends with the Joker getting the upper-hand and revealing his real plan to get rid of Harley.
Rather than just kill her or keep her captive, Joker wants to erase Harley from existence and rewrite her dive into acid by throwing her into another vat of acid that will strip away her craziness and everything she’s come to love about herself. It’s oddly a more horrifying and personal death that kind of leaves you shook and is a solidly emotional end to Harley’s journey. However, seeing that Ivy’s plants start surrounding the tank, Harley makes the leap herself and to the surprise of everyone Ivy’s back from the dead and she looks pissed. She actually looks like a mix of what I would imagine Mother Nature and the Grim Reaper and it’s awesome. Ivy promptly kills Joker’s goons and then surprisingly sends the Joker into the vat of acid to lose his craziness. Just before he does though, he sets off explosions that basically turn Gotham into a cataclysmic wasteland. With the Joker gone and the rest of Gotham in complete chaos, Harley couldn’t be happier with her crew at her side and I couldn’t think of a more fitting end to her first journey out on her own. However, there’s one more surprise with Joker’s hand smashing through the rubble and then losing its Joker white and if this is a small tease for season two, I couldn’t be happier. I’m incredibly anxious to see what a normal Joker would be like and I think it could be an aspect for the future of the series.
The first season of Harley Quinn ends on the kind of note you could expect – explosively bloody action, complete chaos, and some perfectly dark humor. The Final Joke comes with plenty of emotional punchlines that hit you where it hurts and some strong surprises that make me anxious to see more. It’s an incredible end to an incredible season and Harley’s initial independent outing has been the absolute blast I wanted and more.